Monday, February 17, 2014

Another history lesson

 On Saturday we were looking for something to do and stay dry…for the most part.  It is been quite rainy the last few weeks.  Saturday was to be “mostly sunny” so we went downtown to the Holyrood Palace.  It turned out to be another rainy day. This Palace more officially is called the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.  The Palace is located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle.  

This is the Holyrood Palace.  On the left is the tower that James V built in the 16th century.  Our sky was not that blue on Saturday.  I found this picture on the internet.  The Abbey that was built in the 12th century is around the corner to the left.

This is the picture I took on a rainy day on Saturday.

This was taken last summer showing the "Royal Mile".  The Holyrood Palace is at the bottom and the Edinburgh Castle is on the upper end.

This is the main entrance to the Edinburgh Castle

We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the Holyrood Palace.  

This shows the court yard just inside the first entrance.  The architecture of the building is very interesting.  You can't really see it in this picture but the columns on each floor represent a different architectural  period.  We entered the Palace on the ground floor and went to the first floor for the tour.  The Queen's quarters are on the second floor.  

This is the main dining room.  (I found this picture on the internet)  The table can be expanded to seat up to 30 guests or reduced to seat only 4.

The Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is still a “working palace” today and is used as a setting for state occasions and official entertaining.  When in town, the Royal Family lives on the second floor which is not open to the public.  When members of the Royal Family are not in town, the 16th century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, are open to the public.  Mary (the daughter of James V) lived in the Palace from 1561 to 1567.  It was here, in the Queen’s private apartments, that the brutal murder of Mary’s secretary David Rizzio took place.

Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and

ceremonies. Each year when she arrives in July there is a ceremony with the Provost of the City of Edinburgh presenting the keys to the City to the Queen and then she gives them back “for safe keeping”.   (Typical pomp and ceremony of the Royal Monarch)

 The only thing remaining of the abbey is the ruins.  I would have been a magnificient building.

Holyrood Abbey was founded by David I, King of Scots, in 1128, and the abbey's position close to Edinburgh Castle meant that it was often visited by Scotland's monarchs, who were lodged in the guest house situated to the west of the abbey cloister. James IV constructed a new palace adjacent to the abbey in the early 16th century, and James V made additions to the palace, including the present north-west tower.  Mary, Queen of Scots lived in this part of the Palace. 

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